COVID-19 Test Maker Orders 144 KUKA Robots

By Joel Davies -

Brisbane-based Ellume is expanding its automated production lines that are making COVID-19 rapid tests with 144 more KUKA robots, bringing its total collection of robots to 160.

Ellume develops, manufactures, and commercializes digital diagnostic products for healthcare professionals and consumers. To meet the global demand for COVID-19 rapid tests, the company, with the help of Bosch Australia Manufacturing Solutions (BAMS), has been relying on automated production lines with 16 KR AGILUS from KUKA since 2020.

Bosch’s Australian division is expanding large-scale production for COVID-19 rapid tests at Ellume – following the successful collaboration in 2020. The goal is 27 state-of-the-art automated assembly lines to increase production capacity. The 144 KUKA robots ordered for this purpose are from the KR AGILUS series and are designed for maximum operating speeds – crucial for the Ellume project, which has a capacity of nine parts per second.

Three lines for the Brisbane plant have already been successfully installed and full production has begun. KUKA robots pick up all the individual parts and assemble the tests. This also includes an end-of-line testing system that communicates via Bluetooth, thus ensuring the quality of the test kits.

In addition, another completely new plant with 24 production lines is being built in the United States in Frederick, Maryland. The first delivery of US lines is currently being installed, with the last lines to follow by mid-2022. With a volume in the low single-digit million euro range, this is the largest KUKA project for an Australian company to date.

“We have spent the last decade perfecting our technology”, said Dr Sean Parsons, CEO and founder of Ellume. “In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the role of rapid, accurate diagnostics has never been more important. Ellume is pleased to partner with Bosch to bring their world-leading automation expertise to our manufacturing process. This will allow Ellume to manufacture best-in-class diagnostics that can be relied on in the healthcare industry”.

Find more information about Ellume and its order of 144 KUKA robots on their respective websites.

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